Cloud has taken over the enterprise and transitioned from cautious trend to must-have technology. It is no longer a matter of if an organisation will deploy it, but when.
However, an 'if' question does still remain in regard to the type of cloud the business opts for. On paper, the decision maker has three options; public, private or hybrid. In reality, however — in the case of large organisations, at least — the latter appears to be gaining the most traction for now.
Cloud projects continue to grow in the Middle East, with 43 percent of organisations in the Saudi market and 40 percent in the UAE dabbling in the technology during 2013, according to industry research.
Furthermore, the Cisco Global Cloud Index predicts that more than a third of all data centre traffic will be based in the cloud by 2015.
"This upwards curve in cloud computing will continue to grow as we see more and more regional cloud deployments as organisations get the same levels of security, reliability and performance as was seen with on-premise deployments," says Rajesh Abraham, Director, Product Development, eHDF.
It therefore appears that an initial feeling of distrust towards the cloud — primarily driven by security concerns — has faded.
These feelings were particularly apparent in the Middle East, where worries of data crossing borders further distanced CIOs from shiny public clouds owned by the likes of Microsoft, Google and Amazon.
"I strongly believe that the Middle East will eventually catch up to the global scale of cloud roll-out," says Boby Joseph, CEO, StorIT Distribution, who blames sometimes confusing and overwhelming cloud models as holding back adoption to date.
He thanks new technologies from smaller players and start-ups for pioneering the concept better than the conventional vendors.
Some organisations, he says, will wait to see these start-ups acquired by the well-known vendors. "However, in IT, most of the advantage and stabilisation of the platform is drawn by calculative risk-takers and early adopters, who then go on to stabilise their environment with very clearly defined practices," Joseph explains.
The biggest challenge, he adds, is the availability of VADs, VARs and SIs, who would help these companies to roll out in a more effective way by consulting and cloud integration.
In spite of this slow start, Peter D'Souza, Regional Product Manager NetApp and Data Centre, Logicom, says cloud adoption in the region is gathering a lot of momentum.
"Most of the regional Internet service providers have added cloud services to their service portfolio," he says. "From an end-user perspective, we have been seeing some of the larger enterprises leading the way in offloading both critical and non-critical workloads to the cloud."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.